(Ardha Chandrasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Intermediate

Half Moon Pose

(Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Triangle (Trikonasana) right leg forward, left leg back, using a block under the right hand. On an exhalation, bring left hand onto hip and bend into right (front) knee. On an inhalation, bring the block to the top of the mat, in front of right (front foot) and lift left (back leg), flexing foot with toes pointed toward the long edge of the mat.

2

Pull up through the arch of the standing foot, quadricep and knee cap lift, outer hip firms. Continue to flex the foot of the elevated leg, externally rotating thigh and lifting strongly through the outer hip.

3

Hips are square to the side edge of the mat, low abs firm in and up, knitting front ribs finding length in the front, sides and back of the torso.

4

On an inhalation, left arm sweeps slightly forward and up, reaching toward the ceiling, spreading fingers wide.

5

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

6

To come out of the pose, on exhalation lower arm and leg, coming back to Triangle (Trikonasana). On an inhalation torso comes back to upright position, hands to hips. Heel toe left (back) foot in to shorten stance, use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for the second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Practice with back to a wall (balance issues)
  • Top hand remains on hip onto hips (shoulder injury)
  • Practice using a chair under arm or leg

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Improves balance and core strength
  • Releases inner thighs and firms outer hip
  • Balances muscles of shoulder girdle
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps Relieve stress

Contraindications

  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)
  • Hamstring Injury
  • Knee or Hip Injury

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Triangle (Trikonasana), Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana), Triangle (Trikonasana), Mountain (Tadasana), Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Mountain (Tadasana).  Repeat other side.

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